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ORIGINAL "FIRST LESSONS IN LATIN,"
THIOROUGHLY REVISED AND REMODELLED,
BY C. D. CLEVELAND,
FORMERLY PROFESSOR OF THE LATIN AND GREEK LANGUAGES IN DICKINSON
AND LITERATURE IN THE UNIVERSITY OF THE CITY OF N. YORK.
THOMAS, COWPERTII WAIT & CO.
1 84 5.
ENTERED according to the Act of Congress, in the year 1845,
BY CHARLES D, CLEVELAND,
in the Clerk's Office in the District Court of Pennsylvania.
1. ASHMEAD, PRINTER.
EARLY in the year 1828, after a few months' experience as a school-master in Baltimore, I became convinced of the infelicity of teaching Latin in the manner then, I believe, universally practised, that of requiring the young scholar to go through the grammar, before giving him, for translating, any examples, illustrative of the rules, in the language from which the rules themselves are drawn. Accordingly I formed the plan of combining with grammatical exercises, translations of such simple words and sentences as would make the rules intelligible, and impress them more strongly on the memory.
The result in my own school gave me entire satisfaction; the interest which the boys took in their lessons was astonishingly increased. and a corresponding improvement of course followed. Before the close of that year, I gave to the public this my plan of instruction under the title of “First Lessons in Latin.” Its reception far exceeded any expectations I had formed. I soon saw, however, that some improvements might be made in it, but I had parted with the copy. right, and consequently exercised over it no control,
Since that time a number of other elementary works in Latin have been published, all bearing my title, and adopting more or less my plan. I was glad to see each work as it successively appeared, and rejoiced that the publishers of my own book possessed none of that spirit which has influenced others to endeavour to stop the success of rival works, by getting the injunctions of the courts upon them, alledging infringement of copyright. The field of classical literature is open to all ; and every true lover of learning will hail with joy every new elementary work designed to aid the young scholar in that department of knowledge.
At length, however, I have been able to re-purchase the plates and copyright of my “ First Lessons in Latin," and having had many years more of experience in observing the wants and difficulties of the youthful student, have attempted, by entirely remodelling my original work, to prepare a better book for elementary instruction in Latin, than any now in use. It differs from the original work in having the questions at the bottom of the page; in being much fuller in the several parts of the Etymology; in having clear and full explanations of all the rules of Syntax, with questions etymological, historical and biographical upon the Latin exercises under the rules; and especially in having a dictionary much fuller and more critical. But it has not, under the several rules of Syntax, English exercises to be converted into Latin. My experience in this matter has taught me, that it is decidedly better for the scholar, first to go entirely through with the Syntax, translating and parsing all the Latin examples illustrative of the rules, and then, with another book adapted to his wants, to practice upon the exercise of converting English into Latin. Such a book will soon follow this, to be entitled “ Latin Grammar Practice."
It will be seen that in conjugating the verbs in the dictionary of the “ First Book," as in the “ Second Book," I have deviated from the usual method, and used the perfect participle, instead of the supine, which is so seldom found in the classics. In doing so, I have but followed the most excellent advice of that fine scholar, Dr. Sharpe ; “in writing Greek or Latin, great care should always be taken not to form words from analogy, nor to use them in any degree, number, time, mode, or circumstance, without classical authority.” How absurd would it be in English, because the past tense and the participle are formed regularly by adding ed to the present, to conjugate the verbs to be, to run, to go, in the same manner. And why not as absurd in a dead language as in a living one ? In conclusion, I will only add the last lines of the pre
- Second Book,” and “ ask of my fellow labourers in the cause of education, to give my series of books a candid and impartial examination, and to adopt or reject them as they may deem them worthy."
C. D. CLEVELAND. Philadelphia, September 1, 1845.
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